RELIGiOUS TRACT SOCIETY;
56, Paternoster-row; 164, Piccadilly,
A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-
Which would cause the most
surprise — for a number of little
Arab boys to see a nice English
school-room, with the children
2 A PEEP IKTO A SCHCOL-BOOM.
clean and well-dressed, learning
their useful lessons, or for some
English children to take a peep
into one of the noisy schools oi
the olive-coloured children of the
East ? "When an Arab or a Turk
hears of the care and pains given
to teach the young in England,
he looks on the account as one of
his eastern tales — as nothing bet-
ter than a fable. He cannot
make out why such care should
be shown to children.
Suppose we peep into an Arab
school in a village near Damascus.
I need not point it out to you
among those low-roofed houses,
for the noise that already reaches
us tells plainly what is going on
within. Those openings in the
old mud wall let in the hot winds
A PEEP IKTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 3
of summer and the cold winds of
winter. But let us step in, and
see if the inside presents a better
picture. At the door is a pile of
old ? odd-looking shoes, or slippers,
which are put off by the scholars
as they enter ; they then sit bare-
legged on the rough floor. The
teacher now rises, and directs us
to be seated on a mat. The noise
has stopped a little, and eyes
which should be on their books are
gazing on our English dress. But
the teacher wishes to show him-
self before the visitors, and be-
gins to deal heavy blows on the
young heads and shoulders a round
him. Good and bad share alike.
The idlers now make up hi noise
for what they have lost in time :
those reading aloud read louder.
«4 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL- TiOOM,
and those who have no book to
read bawl with all their might, to
imitate the others. There are no
classes, No two boys have the
same lesson ; few the same book ;
many only part of a book ; and
some none at all. The scholar
repeats, perhaps, the same lesson
day after day. He can read a
lesson in his own book ; but give
him the same lesson on the oppo-
site page in another book, and he
cannot make out a line.
See the master as he looks
through his spectacles on the
)age a boy is reading, while his
land is thrusting at random
among the scholars a cane which
reaches half across the room.
The idle watch the strange turns
of the loixor cane, and shun the
i PEEP INTO A SOHOOL-EOOM. 5
stroke ; while the poor boy so in-
tent on his book that he did not
see it, gets a blow for his pains.
There are some of the scholars
learning to write, but they have
neither copy books, pens, nor
ink ; they mark the letters with
their fingers on sand spread on
the floor. If they do not make
less noise, they will be thrown
on their backs, and the soles of
their feet beaten with a large
But let us look into the next
room. See those three girls
huddled up in a corner, their
faces and hands unwashed, their
hair all loose and uncombed.
The eldest holds in one hand the
strange letters written for her on
a board, while her otner h&nd
6 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM.
gathers up the rents of her
ragged dress. It is not often
that you see girls in an Arab
school. What has brought these
three to this place ? Perhaps a
mother, who feels her own dark
state, has sent them. Or it may
be a strong desire of the girls
themselves, before they are driven
out to work. Poor things ! The
master would think it time thrown
away to take pams with them.
They are left to do the best they
enn for themselves. No pleasant
look, or kind word to cheer them,
but frowns meet them on every
side. They feel they are looked
on with scorn and hatred. They
will soon grow tired, and give up
all attempts at learning. Still
let us hope that their presence
in this school is the dawn of bet-
A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM. 7
ter days for the poor girls of
Arabia and Turkey.
What a contrast to this scene
is an English Sunday school!
See the children coming up the
green lanes and over the fields,
or from the streets of the city,
on their way to be taught. We
hope they meet their teachers
with happy hearts, and with cleai)
faces and tidy dresses. There is
no long cane to shake over their
heads ; no large stick to beat tiie
soles of their feet. The same
kind care is shown for the gir)s as
the boys. They have little books
with pictures, written for their
use by those who love them. And
then they have that book which
makes the great difference be-
tween their condition and that oi
children in heathen and other
8 A PEEP INTO A SCHOOL-BOOM.
lands. Without the Bible their
state would he as dark and sad
as that of the young Arabs.
Blessed indeed are they if they
believe in the Saviour it reveals,
who loved them, and gave him-
self for them — who died on the
cross that they might live in
heaven. Are the young readers
Sabbath school children ? Let
them, then, with all their hearts
praise God for their mercies and
privileges in a Christian land. Or
if they are not, may they know
how to value the mercies of their
homes and of the house of God.
While taught to read the word of truth,
May they that word receive;
Ard when they hear of Jesus' name,
In that hlest name believe.
Benjamin Pardon, Printer, Paternoster "Row.
© $<&& ^Y-^ r ^W®
GOD OEDERS ALL THINGS.
fJM I thank the Lord for allliis grace,
f®| To me so freely shown ;
So^ At all times and in every place,
His goodness let me own.
<®| It was not chance that placed me here, ^J^
''^§f Where I am train'd and taught
^v% Mv Maker's name to know and fear,
feife And love him as I ought.
The Lord in wisdom order'd where
And when my birth should be ;
^Vf And ever since, with tender care,
'M$% ; He lias watch VI over me.
Mtfi- He gives me all things ; day by day,
: <j&> Fresh mercies does he send ;
^§§ ^ n( ^' ^ ^ sin them not away,
^§P> He will be still my Friend.